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tv   911 As It Happened  MSNBC  September 10, 2016 7:00pm-9:01pm PDT

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♪ >> we have a breaking news story to tell you about. apparently a plane has just crashed into the world trade center here in new york city. it happened just a few moments ago apparently. we have very little information available at this point in time. but on the phone, we do have jennifer ober steen hon apparently witnessed this event.
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jennifer, can you hear me? >> hello. >> hi, jennifer. >> hi, katie. >> can you please tell me what you saw and give me any information about what's going on there. >> yes, i have to tell you, it's quite terrifying. i'm in shock right now. i calm out of the subway at bowling green heading to work in battery park at the ritz carlton hotel and i come out and i saw a big -- i heard a boom, looked up and there was a big ball of fire. i'm not looking north at world trade center. it is the last twin tower. i'm looking north. i'm in battery park right now. you can hear the fire engines and emergency crews behind me. it is unbelievable when the fire first burst hello. >> go ahead. >> like i've never seen before. and as you know, i used to work in news. i've never seen any fire like this in the air. the pieces of the building were flying down. it looks like it's the like the top, i can't even tell you.
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maybe 20 floors. intense smoke. it's horrible. i can't even describe it to you. >> do you have any idea what kind of plane it was? >> i'm sorry? >> do you have any idea what hit the world trade center? >> what it was? >> yeah, what kind of plane? we're getting reports that the an airplane hit the building. >> oh, i didn't even know that honestly. i was walking up, and looked up and saw a big boom and fire you. know, i got to tell you, we were all saying around here that it was very interesting that it would be a bomb and it would be so high up. so it's perhaps it was a plane. we have no top of a plane. i have to tell you, there's still things flying in the air. i mean, it's mind boggling. it's horrifyinging. >> jennifer, it's matt lauer. while you were close to the building or have you since the explosion seen anyone who has been injured being taken out of the building? are there ambulances dealing with people on the sidewalk around the building? >> no, i have not.
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i have not gotten that close. i have to tell you that my father works in the world financial center. i first called over there to see because it's next door to see if he was okay. i couldn't get through. and i'm far away right now. i thought it might be a little dangerous to get too close. i saw lots of debris coming down. and right now, i'm in battery park. it's probably a five-minute walk from here to the world trade center. but the smoke is incredible. i mean, i can't see the top of the tower. it's starting to cover the top of the second tower. >> in fact, we're looking at pictures right now, jennifer with, a huge gaming hole on the side of the building and billowing smoke. >> i'm right now, yeah, i think -- i see major fire. i definitely see fire. >> and jennifer, you said you're looking north at the building. in other words, you're south of the building. is that right? >> correct. >> because we're looking at a picture that is looking at the northside of the building. >> i'm on the exact opposite side. >> it appears that is where the largest hole is.
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as you mentioned correctly, toward the top of the building but on the north side and then on what i think is the westside of the building, we can also see some holes there that could have been from damage once the impact occurred. again, we've been told that this is a plane. we don't have confirmation on that but there is an enormous hole in the northside of that building. >> jennifer, can you tell us a little bit more about what you heard when you heard this explosion? describe it for us? >> absolutely. when i walked out of the subway, i looked at the twin towers because i mean, i just always look up there, and right when i looked up, there was a boom. it wasn't -- it wasn't that loud. like it wasn't huge. however, what was unbelievable was the amount of fire. it was a big ball of fire that just went up. and i looked around at people. we were all horrified. i'm stuttering because i'm in such shock i've never seen lig like it. it's just horrible. >> of course, this is real cause
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for concern because the world trade center is one of the busiest office buildings here in new york with hundreds, perhaps thousands of workers who -- >> the governor has his new york city office there. >> given the time that this has happened, it's only probably appropriate to surmise that people might have been in the building. >> and you know, we've seen stories in the past where planes have hit buildings, small planes. and it would be hard to imagine that a small plane could create that kind of hole in a building like the world trade center and create the damage on the other side of the building from the sheer impact. small planes tend to crumble and then fall down the building. again, we haven't talk today anyone who was close to the base of the building. we don't know what kind of debris or wreckage. >> i'm sorry. i'm talking to a police officer right here. he said yes, he heard it was a plane. >> does he have any information about what kind of plane it was or can he tell us any more details. >> i'm going to put you on hold for one moment. okay? >> just to recap if you're just
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joining us, you're looking at dramatic pictures of new york's world trade center in lower manhattan where a short time ago we retold that a plane crashed into the upper floors of the western most tower. you can see a gaming hole. that is on the northside of the building. and you can see residual damage on the westside of that building. obviously, fires are burning right now in the in world trade center. >> tall buildings have had a real problem mere in new york. back in the '40s, a plane hit the empire state building. in the 60s, a helicopter crashed on what was the pan am building, now the metlife building. >> right now we're getting information it was a small commuter plane. of course, we'll let people nope as soon as weise have more information as to what is actually caused this. and, of course, on everybody's mind who was might have been hurt as a result of this terrible, terrible incident. we're going to be talking to more eyewitnesss coming up in just a few minutes.
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>> we are back at 9:00 eastern time on this tuesday morning. and we're back with dramatic pictures of an accident that has happened just a short time ago. you're looking at the world trade center in lower manhattan where just a few minutes ago, we're told that a plane, some reports are that it was a small commuter plane, crashed into the upper floors of one of the twin towers. you can see fire and flames or smoke billoing from that tower. there is a gaming hole on the north side of the building. that's the side you're seeing to the left-hand side side of your screen right now. and other damage to the west side of that building, which is to the right side of your screen. this of course, happened just before the morning commute before people were heading into their offices and while i'm sure
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some people were already at work, immediately, there is speculation or cause for concern this is the world trade center that was the center of a terrorist bombing some years ago. so the questions have to be asked, was this purely an accident or could this have been an intentional act. but either way, extensive damage has been done to this building. >> it also looks like there's smoke coming out of the eastside of the building. looks like white moek. >> obviously horrified commuters were absolutely devastated when they heard this explosion. we talk with somebody a moment ago about that jennifer ober steen and another eyewitness, elliott walker who is actually a producer on "the today show." can you hear me. >> yes, hi, katie. >> tell me what you saw. >> i live in this area. i've returned to my apartment. but i was walking down the sidewalk delivering my young daughter to school, and we heard a very loud sound, the kind of sound you hear when a plane is you know, going fast past you,
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followed by an enormous crash and an immediate explosion. i don't think we could feel shock waves but we sort of felt like we did. and we were in a position where we could see the trade center almost immediately between the other buildings. and an enormous fireball that must have been 300 feet across was visible immediately. a secondary explosion i think. and then plumes of smoke. there must have been a three-block cloud of white smoke. now, from where i was on the street a moment ago, you can in fact see smoke leaving the building on three sides. it seems to be coming out on at least four or five floors. the air is filled with hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper that are just sort of floating like confetti. the area is swarmed with emergency vehicles. and sirens. >> have you seen. >> obviously, we're very sensitive to this kind of thing in this neighborhood. >> elliott, of course because of
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the incident na occurred in the early 1990s. have you seen any evidence, elliott, of people being taken out of the building? you say that emergency vehicles are there, understandably so. but of course, the major concern is human loss. i mean, do you know if there were many people in the building. >> oh, another one just hit! something else just hit, a very march plane just flew directly over my building. there's been another collision. can you see it. >> yes. >> we just saw a plane circling the building. >> it is in the other building. >> we just saw a plane circling the building a second ago on the shot right before that. >> i think there's been another impact. i just heard another very loud bang and a very large plane that might have been a dc 9 or 747 just flew past my window and i think it may have hit the trade center again. >> to be honest, i didn't get the impression it was that big of plane. >> it was big from here. >> i did see a plane go by a second ago. it has now impacted the building.
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i'm trying to see if it's the different tower. >> it's the other tower. >> the other one was world trade center. it looks like it may have been the second one. >> this is a piece of tape and we may actually see another plane enter the picture here in a second. >> i wonder if there are air traffic control problems. >> let's go back to jennifer ober steen. jennifer, did you see this happen. >> hello? >> did you just see this happen, jennifer. >> matt, it looks like a movie. i saw a large plane like a jet go immediately headed directly into the world trade center. it just flew into it, into the other tower coming from south to north. i watched the plane fly into the world trade center. it was a jet. it was a very large plane. it was going fast. it went past the -- and battery park. it flew right past almost hit it and then went in. >> this is so shocking. of course, to everybody watching. >> i've never seen anything like it. it literally flew itself into the world trade center.
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>> obviously, now, we move from what appears -- there it is right there. >> again, i'm looking from south to north. and it went into the one on right. >> that appeared to be at least a 727. here comes the videotape we just showed you. you will see what appears to be a large plane. it could be a 727 right there, maybe even bigger flying right into the side of the world trade center. >> it was at least a 727. it was a jet. i couldn't believe my eyes watching it right above me. >> and now, you have to move from talk about a possible accident to talk about something deliberate that has happened here. we're going to immediately check with air traffic control in the area to find out if they had contact with either of these planes before the accident. but what we've just seen is about the most shocking videotape i've ever seen. >> and down here is incredible. people are out out of their office buildings.
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was probably 8:50 eastern time. the second incident occurred about 9:05. so obviously, that would be a short amount of time to get people out of the building. ali eberhart is another witness who was on the ground. can you hear me? >> yes, hello. >> please tell me what you're seeing. >> well, i live in lower manhattan. i face the north tower, the northside where the first plane crashed into the building. right now there's a lot of chaos on the ground. a lot of emergency vehicles. everyone from the world financial center has exited and is walking north up to battery park north. there's just mass and mass of people walking north uptown of manhattan. i happened to look on the first tower and i actually saw people waving where the first plane crashed through. and then it was unbelievable seeing the second jet come crashing into the second tower.
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what is going on? >> and unfortunately here in new york, many of our stations cannot see this. local stations because the antennas are on the world trade center. there are backup towers on the empire state building but communication, television communication in new york city is probably pretty much knocked off the air. >> i want to say something. we're looking at a picture here where it appears because of the angle i think that the towers are leaning. and i don't think that that is is actually the case because after the first impact, it looked as if the right-hand tower was leaning. and now somebody is saying we're getting a witness saying they are leaning actually right now which will give you an idea of the type of impact we're talking about. >> and that perhaps they're buckling under the force of the collision or the hole that's resulted from these two planes. >> we're going to go to george shea right now who has also witness one or both collisions. can you hear sflus like. >> hear you. >> what did you see? >> i was in a car driving up of
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the battery park driving north on west street when an enormous explosion happened. i think it was larger than a construction explosion. i looked out the window and what appeared to be an enormous tire smashed into the ground. and i believe it hit the car to the right of me. and it was just so scary and there was also a ton of debris falling. and i jumped out of the car and i ran south away from the building because i thought there would be further explosions. >> and have you seen anyone injured on the ground, george? >> a man next to me was actually hit by a piece of debris in his arm. and they said that someone had been badly hurt in a car ahead of me. i'm not certain if it was the car next to me. and i can't verify that. all i can say is that a lot of debris was falling. it's very confusing because everybody i think immediately assumed that a bomb had explode ploeded and that sort of had people thinking that further bombs may explode. so there was sort of a rush away. >> did you see, george, the
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second plane that jet fly into the other twin tower. >> i heard two explosions, however. there was a first explosion that was louder and then a second explosion. and but i did not -- i could not see that. i looked up. when i looked up, i saw debris falling and the tire as i said, a very large tire. >> quell, of course, this is as we have said, completely shocking video. and shocking turn of events, and we've been talking here that the first incident one might surprise that it was some kind of accident and then to have a second what appear to be 727 jet, of course, the question of terrorist activity has to surface. and the question of whether this was an intentional terrorist act of some kind foo you know, keep in mind that we're in an area here where there are three major airports. you have newark airport, kennedy airport, and laguardia airport all within several miles of the world trade center.
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it's very unusual for a plane to get into this area without being completely tracked or identified by air traffic control. so you would have to imagine that a, if this plane were headed right for the world trade center, there must have been someone trying to talk or communicate with that pilot and for it to fly right into the side of the building -- >> well, the smaller plane you can understand almost. but a jumbo jet, a large jet completely unbelievable. >> let's rerack the video if we could down in the control room where we actually saw the jet flying into the building. it was unbelievable. >> when elliott walker said it was a big plane, i was looking in the distance and saw a small plane which might have been a helicopter. see this plane come into the picture, that is a big plane. and i mean, it's hard to imagine it's a 7367 we're now being told. and flying directly into the midsection of the what would be the eastern tower.
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of the world trade center. >> needless to say it's pandemonium i am sure down there. we gathered that from the eyewitness with whom we spoke and how terrifying this was for them to see. and you can only imagine as you get closer to the twin towers a new york landmark, how what the scene must be like there. >> you know, you talked about the buildings looking like they're buckling. they're designed to have a 2 degree sway in either direction because of the height of the building and to be able to deal with wind and stress but something like that is more than it's probably designed for. >> we want to go out to jane who i understand is a television producer here in new york. jane, can you hear me. >> yes, i can hear you. i'm down here near the world trade center. i was talking down sixth avenue this morning at 8:482:00 a.m. a.m. a group of sus saw a plane veer through the building. then we saw a huge cloud of smoke and then fire came out of one of the towers. here it's near the upper floor
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as you can probably see with your chopper shots. and then about ten minutes ago, a second explosion in the second tower. lower down. that was not affected by the plane. so i'm not quite sure whpd there. but right now there's a huge gaming hole in one of the towers and the other building is on fire. just being down here is incredible. people are out of their office buildings, watching, crying, taking pictures. i've never seen anything like it down here. >> and we want to just mention when the impact hit the first tower, you would hope that people who are in the second tower were beginning to ykt, especially if air traffic control had some indication that this was deliberate, you would hope they were starting to get people out of the other tower before the second plane hit that tower. >> although. >> if you've tried to go up, we've been upstairs in the towers in the restaurant up there. to try to get down. >> i mean the will bes would have been jammed no question. there was an indication this was deliberate in the first case,
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you would hope they would immediately begin evacuation in the second tower. >> i've just spoken to top u.s. officials with the access to latest intelligence, and they said "that this was clearly terrorist related, no question about it." everyone thought i was crazy to open a hotel here. everyone said it's so hard to be a musician, but i can't imagine doing anything else. now that the train makes it easier to get here, the neighborhood is really changing. i'm always hopping on the train, running l over portland. i have to go wherever the work is. trains with innovative siemens technology help keep cities moving, so neighborhoods and businesses can prosper. i can book 3 or 4 gigs on a good weekend. i'm booked solid for weeks. it takes ingenuity to make it in the big city.
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>> i mean i was a new yorker. new york got hit. i just heard the call, as simple as that and i just walked right into a recruiting station. i didn't think the twice about it. i was in basic training like three weeks later >> right there and then i left and i got into the actual marine
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>> i'm richard lui with your hour's top stories. hillary clinton says she regrets describing half of donald trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables," but argues the republican has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia. trump for his part call the her comments a grotesque attack. more air strikes target agrebels in and around the syrian city of aleppo as a rush yak and u.s. brokered cease fire is set to take place on monday. now back to nimpb to 9/11 .
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as it happened. >> we've got another eyewitness we'd like to speak with. dan dietrich is on the phone, tell me where you are and what you're seeing or what you saw. >> okay, what i saw was one plane coming in low from the north down -- down over seventh avenue. it crashed into the top or the middle of one of the towers. ten minutes later, i saw another plane crash into the other side of the tower at a lower level. it looked to be a small, you know, commercial plane. the first plane that i saw. it crashed into the top of the tower. and there was a huge fireball. and there was a gaming hole in the side of the tower. as we were waiting outside and looking at it, another plane came in low. i believe from the other side, and hit the sort of the middle
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of the other tower. now, i saw both planes two separate planes crash into each tower. >> and dan, again, the size of the planes, tell me about that. >> i would say that the plane was a mid size looked to be a commercial airline. i don't know. i thought perhaps you know, a commercial airline. a mid size, not a jumbo jet. >> this of course, is unconfirmed but we are getting information from an employee of united airlines and again, we want to emphasize there is unconfirmed, but there is speculation that an american airlines plane was hijacked and crashed purposefully on purpose into the world trade center and that the second plane was another plane perhaps hijacked was then flown into the second tower. we want to also report that to remind people that the world trade center bombing that took place on february 26th, back in
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1993, the product of a terrorist attack. the result of a terrorist attack that killed six people and injured more than a thousand. of course, that happened on a friday afternoon. i think matt, you and al were working that day. >> we were. >> i know i was at home in virginia watching it in disbelief. and now it feels a bit like deja vu. but of course, this is so much more bizarre. >> no question and keep in mind that that killed six people, injured 1,000 and the explosion happened in a garage in the basement. this was a direct hit on the midsection or upper section of the tower. so the potential for injuries and death much larger, of course, also some people on the planes. >> that's right. exactly. there they were hijacked and on route to a different destination, of course this story copies to unfold. bob kerr joins us now. bob, where are you and what can you tell us? >> katie good morning. i'm on the north lawn of the white house. the first thing we looked for is
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whether there is any usual activity out here, whether there's an usual secret service presence, people on the roof that sort of thing. we don't see the that as we speak. i did try to call the national security office here. as you know, the president is outs of town in florida. we're told he has been informed of this. i can tell you the white house national security that remains here is in a senior level meeting and we are hoping to hear from them as soon as possible. but katie, the reaction here to the pictures you're seeing and to the initial pictures when they came up, even in what's called the lower press office here at the white house was one of shock. i mean, people are just standing around television monitors looking at this. and when i say people, i don't mean just the reporters. i mean the people who are actually in the office who work here at the white house. >> so very little information is coming out of the white house at this juncture. but needless to say, if the speculation is true about some kind of terrorist event, this
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will be a major, major crisis for the bush administration. jim mclag sheb ski is at the pentagon now. mick, are you hearing any more information from there? >> reporter: well, according to u.s. intelligence officials, katie, there appeared at least to their knowledge, to be no specific threat involving hijacking airliners or any attacks on buildings in the new york area. u.s. intelligence officials report this morning that there are, you know, they constantly are hearing about threats possible terrorist threats against american targets worldwide. but as far as they know this morning, they had no early indications that anything of this nature could have occurred. pentagon officials are already calling this a terrorist attack. they say that they -- they have not yet ordered the scrambling of nel military jets. if national guard were to be
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scrambled in that area, that would be at the order of the governor. now of course, the president does have the authority te scramble american military forces in defense but there's a problem here. what now do you defend against exactly? if you put warplanes in the air, there's always a danger that they could misidentify a pilot's intention although i believe according to officials here -- >> i just wanted to tell you guys if you want to continue this. >> are now off limits and restricted. but so far, the u.s. military and pentagon officials are scrambling to get as much information as they possibly canning to determine what course of action, if any, the u.s. military would take. >> but mick, they are describing this as a terrorist attack right now. >> there are some officials here in the pentagon who are calling this an obvious terrorist attack
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based on very preliminary information. the information that intelligence officials are getting in terms of a possible hijacked plane and, of course, the very horrifying video of the plane veering into the tower itself is a clear indication to everyone here that this is not an accident. >> primary concern right now is protecting the american public in the new york area right now. against any possible further attacks by the air. they have no indications there will be. but there is some concern that since this appeared to be such a highly coordinated attack, that there may be other terrorist attacks that could be planned either in new york or elsewhere. this is absolutely the worst case scenario for the counter terrorist planners because apparently, according to intelligence officials, there were no firm indications prior to in that anything like this
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could have happened. but in terms of scrambling the u.s. military, it would be for protection for the time being and not necessarily even thinking right now about any kind of retaliation. >> all right. david gregory is now on the phone from long boat key actually where. >> he's following the president. >> david. >> reporter: yes, katie, the president is about to begin an education event which is obviously being canceled. the event will go forward insofar as the president we expect momentarily will come out and make a statement about if. he was made an aware en route from his hotel to this school here in sarasota where he was going to talk about education. he'll make a statement then we're told by white house officials that he he will quickly depart for washington. >> we should mention, david that, new york city airport or new york area airports have all been closed. the lincoln tunnel has been closed here in new york. what we're getting ready to
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listen to the president, let's go back to jim at the pentagon. you talk about counter terrorist measures that are in place. can you shed any light for us on what kind of things are in place in the event of an attack of this nature. >> reporter: well, katie, it's very difficult to for the u.s. military to respond to this kind of thing you know, right now because it's unclear exactly who's behind it, and if there are any other potential attacks or incidents like this because this is obviously not been officially declared a terrorist attack. but all the experts who are looking at these pictures say there's no doubt about it, this was a coordinated terrorist attack. but who and why is very much unclear right now. and the problem with trying to then put planes in the air to try to prevent any further attacks is these are, after all, open air spays for the most part. and it's difficult for the u.s.
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military to simply scramble jets and put them in the air and then according to officials here, then do what? this area of course, according to officials here, is obviously going to be declared off limits in terms of any air traffic. but right now, officials here at the pentagon are simply scrambling to find out first what happened. >> right. >> and what potential reaction the u.s. military could provide in terms of protection. possible further protection againstness further potential attacks. >> and mick, it's important to note if these planes were hijacked, if they were carrying passengers there isn't much that military officials could be have done. you can't shoot down a plane like that for risk of the people on board, plus for the injuries you could cause on the ground in a place like manhattan. >> reporter: that's exactly right. and the president as we said earlier, does in fact have the authority to scramble the
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military to put them up in some kind of force protection mode. the governor has the air national guard at his disposal. he can do that. but again, officials are pretty much wondering exactly what to do in terms of protection and how. again, to the counter terrorist officials, this is absolutely the worst case scenario because they're right now seems to be not much, not much they can do in terms of the aftermath. >> mick, obviously, we're scrambling for information here. i just want to read this reuters wire that says twos planes crashed into the towers of the world trade center on tuesday morning causing huge explosions and killing at least six people. cnbctv said there were at least 1,000 injured. both towers of the lower manhattan landmark where thousands of people work were the scenes of a bombing in 1993. the fbi told the "associated press" that it was "foul play and not an accident." a person who answered the phone
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that was reported by abc, a person who answered the phone on the trading floor at interdeal ker broker cantor fitzgerald located near the top of the world trade center said we're blanking dying when asked what was happening and hungup. there was screaming and yelling in the background and a follow-up call was not answered. nick fulton an eyewitness said just before the first explosion he saw a plane fly over his apartment in the so ho district of lower manhattan. jamie gangel is on the telephone. our national correspondent with more information. jamie, what can you telluous. >> katie, i've just spoken to top u.s. officials with the access to latest intelligence and they said "that this was clearly terrorist related. >> reporter: no question about it they said that they couldn't give any further details now not because they didn't want to share it but because they just don't know yet. they're at the early stages. >> so do they know, jamie, for
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example if a plane was in fact hijacked? >> they would not answer that. and i think that it's because -- i think that they just are getting the earliest details at and they're afraid of putting out misinformation. but they said you know, that it was clear little terrorist related. today we've had a national tragedy. two airplanes having crashed into the world trade center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. [alarm beeping] ♪ ♪ ♪ the highly advanced audi a4. ♪
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crashed into the towers, one certainly before 9:00 eastern time, one shortly after 9:00 eastern time. and as you can see, the tower on the left was hit just bob the midsection point. they're both 110 floors high. 1300 feet bob the ground. the tower on the right was hit more probably two-thirds to three-quarts the way up the tower but you can see fires burning in both towers. we actually saw a videotape. we watched the second tape or the second plane hit the building. you'll watch it enter from the right portion of the screen and then make contact with the left-hand tower in what is shocking video. and here it comes right there. and you can see the impact on one side of the building and the residual damage coming out of another side of the can and one can only imagine that that one occurred shortly after 9:00 in the morning. how many people were in the building at the time of the impact. and it's a large plane.
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we're told it was either a 737, some reports that the first plane was a 757. >> some kind of airbus. that was what the united worker told us that apparently that had been -- that it was an american airlines plane that had been. >> hijacked. >> hijacked from boston to los angeles. but we're just getting initial reports of that. and again, we must tell you that we're trying to get as much information but it is trickling in at a very slow pace. so all of this is unconfirmed and, of course, speculation of a terrorist attack is unconfirmed although that is what some pentagon officials are saying. let's go to president bush right now. >> unfortunately, we'll be going back to washington after my remarks. secretary rod pace, the lieutenant governor will take the podium and discuss education. i do want to thank the folks here at booker elementary school for their hospitality. today, we've had a national
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tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into the world trade center in apparent terrorist attack on our country. i have spoken to the vice president to the governor of new york, to the director of the fbi, and i've ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families and to conduct a full scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. terrorism against our nation will not stand. and now if you join me in a moment of silence. my god bless the victims, hair families and america. thank you very much. >> we're going to go to andrea mitchell now who has more information on this tragedy. andrea. >> reporter: i've spoken to a
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top u.s. official who says that early reports to our intelligence community and to other officials within the administrationing are that this was a hijacked american airlines plane en route from boston to los angeles, one of the two planes they say was apparently a hijacked american airlines plane. they caution that early reports still need further confirmation. but this is at least what the u.s. government is being told by american airlines officials apparently. they are assuming and they've obviously informed the president that this is a terror attack. >> we have no information as to in what term of the flight this plane was taken over, how much warning that air traffic controllers may have had that someone hostile was at the controls of this plane? >> reporter: exactly right. they have no other information, just that at least one of the two planes was hijacked from boston en route to los angeles. presumably after it had already been in the air and on route
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because i was told en route to los angeles. so probably hijacked after it had taken off. as you know, those are very short flights. those are usually 737s or 757s on that route, but this clearly according to the u.s. government is a terror attack. as you heard the president say. one of the things, matt and katie, we should understand is that there was no specific threat that the u.s. government is aware of. no specific terror alert other than the worldwide caution that had been reissued in recent days because of the strife in the middle east, because of concerns over terrorists of course, the best known is osama bin laden. but no alert coming from his organization. and as far as they know, as of this morning as of this minute, he is in afghanistan. >> but as we should mention, andrea, it appears that this ches a well coordinated bombing or terrorist act because of the fact that two planes were used, both substantial in size and the fact that they both hit the world trade center within 18 minutes of one another.
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obviously a lot of the planning went into this attack. let's go to nbc's jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. what can you tell us. >> reporter: to add to what she just said, senior military officials here at the pentagon are saying they are getting information that the american airlines flight 11 after it left boston apparently, was hijacked. and was diverted apparently, the early information was was being diverted to jfk for some reason. and then obviously, nobody knows exactly who was at the controls of the plane. but it broke off its route from to los angeles. and was headed toward jfk. that was the initial information that officials had received. when obviously, it did not go to jfk. but veered off and headed toward the world trade center. but again, no indication as to
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who may be responsible or who was at the controls of that plane when it rammed into the world trade center. katie, i don't want to alarm anybody right now, but apparently it felt just a few moments ago, like there was an explosion of some kind here at the pentagon. they say a lot of things about rain. (engine revs) like how hard it's gonna fall. (engine revs) the things it does to your parade. we've got a saying about rain, too: en it rains. it roars. the all-wheel-drive charger. domestic. not domesticated. i'm not a customer, but i'm calling about that credit scorecard. (to dog)give it. sure! it's free for everyone. oh! well that's nice! and checking your score won't hurt your credit.
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>> right now we want to talk with larry johnson, a terrorism expert the former deputy director of the state's department office on counter-terrorism. mr. johnson, can you please put this into some kind of perspective for us and give us your insight on what might have happened here? >> well, you know, first we need to to be cautious before jump doing conclusion that it's necessarily terrorism. i would be inclined based upon the preliminary reports we've seen to say that that's the case, but there's always the possibility that you may find out after the fact that this was some suicide pact for some reason that had nothing to do with politics. that said, this is a first. this is a very rare event. it's unlikely to be repeated. but and i think president bush put his finger on it. we have to find who did this and any country, any nation in the world that is in any way involved and responsible if it turns out to be terrorism will require a response from the
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united states and the united states has got to be willing to pay that price. >> mr. johnson, obviously, we're completely stunned when about 25 minutes after the first explosion or after the first plane crashed into one of the twin towers another very large plane did the same thing. and we've been talking with our correspondents all morning about sort of if another incident could happen on the heels of these two. what kind of measures are in place to prepare for something else that could conceivably happen? >> well, i think one of the steps already being taken, i was at national airport getting ready to fly to laguardia when this occurred. they have shut down air traffic going in and out of the cities. now apart from shuth down the air traffic, you're talking about an enormous disruption economically for the nation right now with the air traffic not going in. and people are going to -- they're going to err on the side of caution. >> larry, i wanted to ask you all morning, correspondents have also been particularly bob ker
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and jim mick la sheb ski and andrea mitchell that there was nos warning attached to this event. generally speaking, do u.s. officials government agencies get some kind of warning from a particular group or is this pretty -- i mean fairly typical in terms of an event happening without any foreshadowing. >> no, katie, this unfortunately is typical. it's only in the movies that you get the advanced warnings. you look at every major terrorist incident against the united states whether you're talking pan am 103, the world trade center, the "uss cole" bombing, the bombing in dharan, saudi arabia, rarely do you get advanced notice. >> jim has new information at the pentagon. i hope you'll stand by and continue to talk with us. mick? >> >> reporter katie i don't want to alarm anybody right now but apparently it felt just a moments ago like there was an explosion of some kind here at the pentagon. we're on the e ring of the pentagon. we have a window that faces out
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toward the potomac, toward the kennedy center. we haven't been able to see or hear anything after the initial blast. i just stepped out in the hallway, security guards were herding people out of the building. and i saw just a moment ago as i looked outside a number of construction workers who have been working here have taken flight. they're running as far as away from the building as they can right now. i hear no sirens going off in the building. i see no smoke. but the building shook for just a couple of seconds. the windows rattled. and a security personnel are doing what they can momentarily to clear this part of the building. again, i have no idea whether it was part of the construction work, whether it was an accident or what is going on. we're going to try to find those details and get them to you as soon as possible. the but interestingly enough, one intelligence official here in the building said when he saw what appeared to be the
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coordinated attack on the world trade center, his advice was to stay away from the outside of the building today just in case. now, again, nobody has any indications of exactly what happened. but it appears that there has been some kind of it felt like a small blast of some kind. again, the windows shook. the building shook, the windows rattled and people, if i'm looking out the window now, and the construction workers are still keeping a good -- i'm sorry. the construction workers are still keeping a distance. that's all i can see. and i see no other extracurricular security activity right outside. but to get more information, i'm going to have to breakaway and walk down the hallway and see what it is exactly that happened here just a few moments ago. >> nick, see what you can find out. please be careful and let us know what's going on there. meanwhile, we'll go back to
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david gregory who is in long boat key, florida, where president bush was earlier this morning for an event on literacy. he was going to a school to talk with kids. david, what can you tell us. >> reporter: a little bit more about how all of this unfolded and what the president is going to do next. the president declared this apparent terrorist act. he offered a prayer for the families, promised to hunt down in his words the people responsible for this. he will now travel back to washington and aides are telling us now he would immediately convene a national security meeting to see what steps are taken next. >> david, i'm sorry to interrupt you. but we're looking at live pictures of the pentagon where there is billowing smoke. jim miklaszewski just reported that he heard an explosion. right now we're looking at an aerial view of the pentagon. mick, can you talk to us? >> reporter: officially nobody polls exactly what happened. i think the picture is pretty clear. according to one u.s. army
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officer who went running past me at a full trot, he said that it appears that a bomb was detonated at the heliport. heliport is a helicopter landing area right next to the pentagon just adjacent to the e ring. the offices nearest the heliport are u.s. army reserve officers and the army reserve offices are located there. but as you can see, it appears to be a pretty significant blast. to give you some perspective, we are almost on the opposite side of the building the world's largest office building. and as i reported to you, we could feel the building shake and the windows rattle. and as i was in the hallway just a few moments ago, i could smell an acrid kind of smoke, the kind of almost what you would smell
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when a fluorescent light goes bad, that kind of ballast smell. and authorities are clearing the building. >> u.s. intelligence sources are confirming the reports that one of the planes was a hijacked flight an american flight from boston to los angeles. with my moderate to severe crohn's disease,... ...i was always searching for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i had it covered.
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♪ i don't know if you can hear the sirens outside right now. but it appears that in what i think people here in the
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building are already describing as a highly sophisticated coordinated attack not only against the world trade center, but against the pentagon and u.s. military right here in washington. >> tell me again, i worked at the pentagon, as well. and it is a huge building. i mean, it's miles and miles of offices. at what location did this is seem to have detonated? >> reporter: it's the heliport. the heliport which is as you sit in the pentagon, you have the potomac river and washington, d.c. on one side. and the heliport is located almost exactly on the opposite side of the building. along one of the highways. easily accessible. even though that they've increased security here significantly at the pentagon within the past couple of years, that area -- >> i want to mention to you, mick, we are hearing again unconfirmed reports that this was the result of a plane crashing in the area, as well.
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>> reporter: i have no dale, katie. all i know is that people who were in the building who came running from that part of the building thought it was a bomb of some kind. according to chris brown, my colleague, who just came in, it appears that whatever it was, and perhaps it was a plane, katie, if those are the initial reports, crashed into or the damage is on the roof of the building at the heliport side of the pentagon which is just opposite of the potomac river as i just said. >> we're looking at the white house, mick, because we are learning that there have been some evacuations from the white house. i'm assuming that everyone is being evacuated from the pentagon? >> reporter: well, nobody's given us the official word yet. but i think that's probably a safe bet.
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thank goodness that was a helicopter that just flew by. i'm just a little nervous right now when you hear aircraft go past. but they have, in fact, ykted that portion of the building. usually they have sirens that go off in the building alerting you to the fact that it's time to get out. i haven't heard those yet. but just judging by the pictures, it's clear that that part of the building that is not damaged at least has been ykted. like i said, in the hallway, it was pandemonium. people were rushing from their offices, rushing outside. >> and you're in your office at the pentagon right now, mick, reporting to i am in the office but i'm at the opposite side of where this crash occurred. >> all right. why don't you see if you can gather some more information. please again be careful, mick. we'll go 0 matt who is going to be talking with jamie gandal. >> i'm joined by tom brokaw. we'll try and recap what's been going on in just a few moments. we do want to go to today's
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national correspondent jamie gangel with more information. jamie. >> reporter: matt, i just want to tell you that u.s. intelligence sources are confirming the reports that one of the planes wa is a hijacked flight, an american flighting from boss to los angeles. they are also now looking into what's going on the an the pentagon. they don't have any details but threw have now put government buildings around the city of washington on a heightened state of alert. i think part of that is happening formally but obviously, people are seeing what's going on and some people are leaving buildings, as well simply because of the concern following these latest reports from the pentagon. we have, this is a major development. the federal aviation administration has shut down all air traffic nationwide. this country has been immobilized by these terrorist
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let's try and recap it's 9:47 eastern time. try and recap what's going on so far this morning. and the news is terrible. just before 9. >> 8:42 actually. >> 8:4 2, a plane crashed into the right-hand tower of the world trade center. somewhat about three-quarters of the way up. you can see the smoke billowing from that point of the building. then about 18 or 20 minutes later, a second plane, a large plane we saw it actually on tape, hit the left-hand tower of the world trade center about halfway up. an enormous fireball on several sides of the building. people trying to be evacuated. there's the tape of the second plane hitting right there. even as people were trying to
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get out of the first building. we have confirmed reports now that there was one plane hijacked, american airlines flight 11 from boston to los angeles. and that is apparently one of the planes used in this crash. >> terrorism always has twos prongs to it, the physical threat and now the psychological threat. this does seem to be surreal but in fact, it is real when you have an explosion of under determined of origin at the pentagon, the most conspicuous symbol of american capitalism, the twin trade towers here in new york two deliberate attacks on those towers today. and we do not know for sure who is responsible at this point. >> and the capitol, the u.s. capitol has been evacuated. there have been eyakvations taking place at the white house. needless to say many people in the pentagon have left that building, as well. >> and here by the way in this building in midtown new york, they have asked a lot of people at 30 rockefeller plaza to leave. it's another high rise capital building which is in new york.
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i came down the length of manhattan and a lot of people were simply unaware of what had happened. as you tuned in the radio. then they began to get it. it's election day here in new york. >> primary day. >> and what we have is something that most americans thought could never occur. >> this is a major development. the federal aviation administration has shut down all air traffic nationwide. this country has been immobilized by these terrorist attacks in terms of air travel today. and we don't know where it goes from here. we'll just ask that you stay with us so that he as we get hard information, we can share that with you. there's going to be a lot of speculation. the president has described this apparently as a terrorist attack. the fbi has confirmed that an american airlines flight boston to los angeles was hijacked. it's believed that that was the first plane that went into the twin trade towers. >> let's go to james kallstrom if we could, the former director of the fbi here in new york. mr. kallstrom, i'm sure you've never seen anything like this.
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do you have any information that might be helpful to us? >> well, not particular information on this tragedy, but certainly what an incredible tragedy, and you know, all of us in law enforcement and prior in law enforcement have talked for years and the public has seen the hatred in the world. they've seen the bombing of the world trade center. they saw the conspiracy to blow up the tunnel and the united nations and the fbi building back in the '90s. they've seen the bomb at the "uss cole" and the bombings of our embassies in africa. so i mean, we've known for some time now that this hatred exists and now it looks like that it's culminated in this absolutely loren dus incredible act. >> jim if you can stand by for just a moment because jim miklaszewski has more information for us. >> reporter: katie, my colleague chris brown here at the pentagon encountered some of those who survived whatever it was, whether it was a bomb or an airplane crashing into the
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pentagon. one of the survivors who was reportedly injured had various lacerations was on the second floor of the d ring. that is one ring inside the outer ring of the pentagon when suddenly, there was this horrific blast, and he said that the second floor buckled upward and then the third floor above him actually collapsed downward. the scene on the other side of the building as it's being described to us, there are people being removed on stretchers. security forces are ykting the building right now, and according to the officials here at the pentagon, they still don't know exactly what it was, but as you reported katie, eyewitnesss reported that in fact, it was a plane that crashed into the pentagon. >> and mick, any idea? i wasn't quite sure if you said this, about the number of people who might have been hurt or worse in this? >> reporter: no idea, at all. katie, as you know having worked
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here on any given day, this is a small city. 25,000 to 30,000 people may be working here at any one time. that portion of the pentagon, by the way, had just been remodeled and just reopened. if the crash had occurred just a few months ago, that section of the pentagon would have been virtually empty. but at this time of day, early morning, or midmorning, the pentagon's very busy. it's impossible to say how many casualties there may be. but there have been a large number of people cited being removed on stretchers and again, as one survivor said, the floor just buckled up under him and the roof caved in on him. >> all right, mick, thank you very much. we want to move a couple miles away from you right now to the white house where bob kerr is standing by. bob, we understand that building has now been evacuated? >> matt, that's true.
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it is surreal. as soon as word came of the pentagon incident, we were rather forcefully removed from the white house. the scene was one of administrators, cooks, whatever running at fairly high speed. all the way out of the building through the top gates. then we huddled for a while in lafayette park across the street. and we've been moved now from there a block or so away. the offices along jackson place which are across the street from the white house and adjacent to lafayette park also have been evacuated and in the most surreal of this morning's scenes here at the white house, a white plane, a very big jet, was flying an unusual pattern near the white house over lafayette park very slowly it made one circle and then we have not seen it since. there was a lot of concern about what that plane might be.
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but again, it's only speculation. but most people say that since flights have been cleared from u.s. air space and it was a totally white plane, looked unusual to all of us, that it was a government plane of some kind. >> we should point out that we're looking at pictures, bob, as you speak of the world trade center because all of the camera crews have been evacuated from the white house as well. when do you expect president bush to arrive there, bob? >> reporter: katie, he's coming back directly. you figure it's about a two-hour flight. so you can do the math. the reason i said that it was so surreal was that within just about 20 minutes ago, they were still conducting tours. had you hoards of tourists and others still in the white house on tour lining up outside to get in. there seemed to be absolutely no unusual activity outside the white house until word came of the incident at the pentagon. so it's been quite a dramatic shift here.
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and we just saw a live picture of what seemed to be a portion of the building falling away from the world trade center. ♪ [engine revs] ♪ [cheering] ♪ the highly advanced audi a4. ♪
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♪ this is a task for investigators of extraordinary magnitude to try to determine who did this and how they got away with. you think about an american airlines flight on its way from boston to los angeles was hijacked in mid-air. they're not citing transmissions from the plane so they have hard evidence of that and then brought down here and made to fly into the twin trade towers. did one of the hijackers get control? did they shoot the pilot? it's -- it boggles the mind beyond our ability to figure out what was going on. >> you talk about transmissions. i was just curious, have you had any evidence of what was said during the transpigses. >> they're just saying they're citing transmission to know that the plane had been hijacked. we also ought to remind everyone
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once again, this is an exexceptional development. the faa has banned all takeoffs at all airports across america. this country in terms of air travel has been immobilized. a good portion of the nation's capital, the most powerful center in the world has been immobilized, as well. >> we just saw a live picture of what seemed to be a portion of the building falling away from the world trade center. if we can rerack that to about 20 seconds ago, you'll see something dramatic happening and i don't know whether it's another explosion or a portion of the building falling away. but something major just happened at that building. >> here we go to the tape. >> we have the tape. >> watch what happens in the left-hand tower. i don't know if this is the correct tape. there. something there is about to happen. falling away right there. >> yeah, it looks like a big chunk of it has just peeled away. >> one can only hope that the area has been evacuated.
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of course, you wonder about all the emergency vehicles and the people who might have been injured early in the morning. these pictures are beyond belief. >> we have a report that the second plane may have flown out of newark, new jersey. this is an official who was speaking on the condition of anonymity. again, there is no confirmation of that. we just know that there were two planes that went in. the first one was apparently an american airlines flight from boston to los angeles. we're now seeing it from the harbor view of this continuing damage and destruction to the world trade center. we want to tell you that american airlines has confirmed that one of its flights, american airlines flight number 11 from boston's logan airport scheduled to go to l.a.x. that left at 8:00 a.m. this morning, 45 minutes later, it was is diverted into the world trade center. >> let's go back to a few seconds ago. this is now about an hour after the first impact. we saw some dramatic footage of a portion of one of the twin towers actually it appears to fall away from the rest of the
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building. can we go to the tape now? here we go right here. when you look at it, the building has collapse. that tower just came down. >> well the consequences go on. not just to the world trade center and to the poor people who were trapped and caught there but of course, that is the heart of the world financial markets which have now been shut down effectively, as well. so the ripple effect continues this morning as we all try to adjust psychologically and intellectually to what we are witnessing here. it is difficult to comprehend but this country, the strongest country in the world, has been the target of a major coordinated terrorist attack. and the end is not over yet. even if it's confined to just these three targets. the ripple effect goes on. >> of course, 0 who knows the human toll that will be the result of this action matt just pointed out to me on any given day, 50,000 people, tom, work at the world trade center. >> and at 8:45 in the morning,
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if they're not in the building, they're around the building. that's a beehive of activity down there. there is no more active area in terms of pedestrian traffic. >> she apparently saw the collapse of win much those towers. >> mina. >> reporter: matt, on the corner of dwayne and west broad way, walking down towards the give towers and it just lapse collapsed. it looked sort of like the building just demolished, smoke, clouds. spoke in clouds of smoke everywhere. people running towards me. i was going towards the twin towers. people were going away from the towers. and it was just people running like i've never seen a scene like it. >> give me an idea of the reaction of people down there, mina. pedestrians. >> reporter: everyone, everyone in tears. people 0 who were i've met some woman who was in the building to the right of where the first first thing happened.
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and just all crying, wondering if the people they know in the buildings next door are okay. >> mina, take care of yourself. jamie gangel our national correspondent is on the phone now with some more information. jamie. >> reporter: katie, as you well know, buildings around town are being evacuated. the state department has been evacuated. white house has been evacuated. and the pentagon has been evacuated. intelligence officials tell me that they do believe at the pentagon, ha that was a third plane going down. they have had the intelligence sources that i've talked to say that they have not received any claim of responsibility yet. >> jamie, have you gotten any information from reagan national airport as to air traffic in the area this morning or anybody who might have somehow trace this had plane or figured out from where it came or where it s going? >> reporter: they still do not have any of those details yet.
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it is almost impossible. they were confused for a long time as to whether it's a bomb or a plane. they say now that it appears to be a plane. but they say that that is all the information that they have. >> all right, jamie. thank you very much. we'll be talk with you. >> this is the most serious attack on the united states in more than 100 years. not since the war of 1812 and certainly the damage that we did to ourselves during the civil war has versus country suffered in kind of damage within its interior obviously pearl harbor which which triggered world war ii was a horrific event, as well. but there never been an event to match the magnitude of this one in which everything has been shut down in terms of air traffic, the national capitol has been immobilized, white house, state department, pentagon has been attacked. financial markets have been shut down. there's an untold loss of life. >> the other tower of the world
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trade center has just collapsed. that i believe was the first tower that was struck this morning at 8:42 eastern time. i'm terrible at golf. he is. but i'd like to keep being terrible at golf for as long as i can. new patented ensure enlive has hmb plus 20 grams of protein to help rebuild muscle. for the strength and energy to do what you love. new ensure enlive. always be you.
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i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories. toby willis star of the reality show willis family has been charged with child rape. tennessee officials claim he had a sexual encounter with an underage girl 12 years ago. he remains behind bars without bond. the firlths laustd on 9/11 were remembered at a memorial service at z-patrick's cathedral in new york. tomorrow both donald trump and hillary clinton will attend the 15th commemoration at grounds zero. now back to "9/11: as it happened." >> it's 7:15 in the west obviously. but for those of you who are just joining us at 8:45 eastern time, 8:42 eastern time today an
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american flights flight 11 from boston to l.a.x. crashed into the world trade center buildings. 15 minutes later another plane hit the other one. that building has now collapsed. within an hour of those two attacks, the pentagon was hit now we're told by a plane. an untold number of casuals there. president bush has been on the air. he was in florida at the time saying apparently this was a terrorist attack. everyone believes that carefully coordinated from the air and the consequences of it in terms of human loss and and the effect on this country are still to be determined. we're worried that the other building may come down. they've obviously evacuated that whole area as the result of the crash of 1 world trade center. now i'm concerned there's concern about the second one collapsing, as well. we're told now that a spokesman for yasser arafat, the leader of the pla, the palestinian liberation organization, that he has -- that arafat has condemned
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what has happened here in new york. he says that the plo has no role in it whatsoever. they're completely shocked and pauled by what an what is happening. there was just one earlier report that the radical democratic front for the liberation of palestinian claimed responsibility but that was later denied, as well. we don't know yet who is in fact responsible for this, but it was very carefully planned and coordinated and fair to say it has been devastatingly efficient and effective attack on the heart of this country. >> let's go to pat dawson who is down by the world trade center. >> reporter: there are probably at this stage, i would say, hundreds, perhaps in the thousands of emergency workers who in the last hour and a half have managed to work their way down theer lower manhattan. and basically, try to get into this fray. they are -- we are standing right here about 10 to 12 blocks north of the world trade center. these firemen that you can see
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firefighters -- firefighters are walking down towards the site now and they literally have been arriving by the dozens over the past hour or so. as we say, probably in excess of 1,000 or more emergency workers from new york city and surrounding areas converging on this site now to try to make some sense of it. as you can imagine, at this point, there is a certain level of chaos because they're just trying to sort out who's alive, who's not. when i asked one of them why he was going back in as he sued up since he could barely breathe, he said it's my job and there may be some of my brother officers in there. as you can see from these pictures, the amount of dust from the fire that's still burning, flames and ash is extraordinary at this point. and at least a few emergency workers have said that they really aren't so sure that other tower won't stay up now. they really didn't think the first one was capable of coming down but it did. so they are basically saying keep back as far as you can.
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on the other hand, facing that danger as we have been telling you, many, many hundreds of these workers are heading over those lines down towards that burning building. to try to rescue those people who are in there be they emergency workers be they sirns. >> we'll go to mick. what is the latest from the pentagon. >> reporter: katie, security officials here at the pentagon have not only evacuated the building but they're clearing the entire area. security forces have reported that they have received information of another plane hijacked that it's about 20 to 25 miles out of washington, d.c., headed into this general direction. secretary of defense donald rumsfeld a few moments ago was refusing to leave the building. there's no confirmation of this latest threat. but security officials here are taking it very seriously. we were standing with secretary rumsfeld security detail who as soon as they got the report went running into the building.
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and we were herded away. but they have set up an alternative command site somewhere in the area. the pentagon has set up a crisis team to deal with this situation. but so far, the latest reports are that another plane of some kind may have been hijacked and headed into this direction. katie? >> we also should tell you, mick, this is tom brokaw, the faa says now that all international flights headed for the united states are being diverted to canada this as at a time when jim is telling us there's an inconfirmed report there's been another hijacking. all takeoffs were stopped but there were planes in the air obviously at the time of the first two attacks on the world trade towers and then on the pentagon. >> the other tower of the world trade center has just collapsed. you are looking at live pictures of the second twin tower at the world trade center collapsing as a result of the crash of an
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airplane into its side. that i believe was the first tower that was struck this morning at 8:42 eastern time. that is now -- fallen to the ground and collapsed. >> profile of manhattan has been change. there's been a declaration of war by terrorists on the united states. more than 100 stories of steel, concrete having electrical. there it is. that's a videotape replay. and many of the emergency workers basically just happy to be alive. certainly that picture tells it all. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, and you're talking to your doctor about your medication... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage.
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i was supposed to have breakfast with family at the windows of the world at the top of the world trade center and watched both towers drop from the harbor. >> at the time, it was so unbelievable. someone's going to attack us in the united states? they're going to attack the twin towers? >> i mean, i was a new yorker. new york got hit. >> you know, i just walked right into a recruiter station. i didn't think twice about it. i was in basic training like three weeks later >> i'm not necessarily angry at the people that are in front of me. but i've got a very passionate love for the people who i feel like i'm protecting. > something inside me told that it was a calling that i needed to do something. deep down inside, i wanted to problem what red, white, and blue was to the person who did this.
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we are back at 10:30 eastern time on this tuesday morning. this horrific incredible, not to be believed tuesday morning. you are looking at live pictures of the world trade center where just a few minutes ago, within the last minute actually, the second twin tower collapsed. >> this is a declaration and an excution of an attack on the united states. two of our most conspicuous symbols of the american system of capitalism. the pentagon, which, of course, is the headquarters of the most mighty military in the world was attacked today, as well. the white house has been evacuated. the state department has been i canned. financial markets have been immobilized. all flights taking off after these attacks were grounded. >> international flights have been sent to canada. >> transclassic flights only going to canada now. so there has been great chaos visited upon this country to say nothing as you pointed out so importantly, of a still untold loss of life. and it's going to be horrendous.
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we don't know yet what the exact numbers are, but we can only tell you by looking at those pictures that you can guess as well as we can that there are going to be a lot of people who are not going to be able to escape that. >> back in 1993 when the bomb blew up in the basement of the world trade center, so many survivors told them how long it took them with no power in the will bes to walk down the smoke-filled stairways. you think about who i am people were still trying to kes cape those buildings when the first one and then the second tower collapsed. >> there's a picture of lower manhattan, ladies and gentlemen, the most important city in the world in so many ways. now it has been attacked by terrorists at the world trade center and the damage is beyond our ability to tell you in great detail. >> let's go to pat dawson, if he can hear us. he is on the ground. >> quite extraordinary. these are the emergency worker who are coming back. it was just about ten minutes ago that we described to you the possibility of that north tower collapsing. about five minutes after we went off the air, it did collapse. once again, we have no idea at
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this point the loss of life. i can only tell you there were hundreds of emergency workers down there about five or six blocks. it took probably about i would say no more than 50 or 60 seconds for that dust cloud, dust and smoke to literally make it the five or six blocks up here. and begin to envelope us at which point we started to move out of the way. there were literally dozens and dozens of firemen who are trying to run past us. in fact, our camera mann even put one of the captains in his car and drove him down to a command post. the people you see hereing are pretty much all emergency workers, many of them that i've seen in the last two to three minutes quite frankly are coming out of here and remember this, these are professionals. they're coming out of there will looking literally stunned and shocked many of them. struggling for breath. obviously in serious distress, breathing problems are the biggest problem for those who managed to make it safely out of
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that area down below us. you can't see much more than a block south of me right now. and the world trade center probably stands about ten blocks south of where i am at this moment. and as you can see now, the dust is beginning to pick up here. it really depends on which way the blows as to whether or not we get heavy dust or not. but at this point, i can tell you that in the first few minutes it, emergency workers were trying just basically to get out of there, to survive. you could see that written in their faces. the situation was so desperate, they just wanted to get out of there. now many of them are beginning to regroup. a couple of them asked me where their commander might be. they're trying to get together and go back in there and take care of the people who obviously are in serious trouble. there's no other way to describe it. 9 language here at times if i slip into language which seems mellow dramatic, fib me but this is a circumstance which is very, very difficult to describe in many ways without sounding
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mellow dramatic. certainly in more than 20 years of covering horrific events this is something that i've never seen before. and many of the emergency workers basically just happy to be alive. certainly that picture tells it all. many of them just happy to be alive at this point. >> that was nbc's pat down son. he's standing about ten blocks from where the world trade centers used to stand. you're looking at the collapse. we now have an a.p. news alert out of pittsburgh. officials at somerset county airport are confirming the crash of a large plane just north of the airport. that's about 0 miles southeast of pittsburgh. again, officials at somerset county airport confirm the crash of a large plane north of that airport which is located about 80 miles to the southeast of the city of pittsburgh. we do not note whether that crash of that plane is relateding to what has become an obvious terrorist attack both here in new york city and in washington, d.c. at the pentagon. >> we want to go to jim miklaszewski at the pentagon who
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has some more information. >> reporter: katie, they're still clearing people away from the pentagon. still security forces believe that there may be another incoming plane headed in the washington region. but there was a very telling dramatic moment just a second ago when a u.s. air force f-16 flew very low level, did a wide sweeping turn around the pentagon. and back over washington. and as one air force officer standing near me said, my god, they're now flying air cover over washington. a very dramatic moment. a pile stone in what tom has already described as a declaration of war, terrorist war against the u.s. >> let's go back and show you the pictures of lower manhattan where the situation only gets worse, not better. that is the financial district of the world. it's also a residential area and a great commercial area. both twin trade tower buildings now have collapsed onto the ground. there is an untold loss of life. some heroic rescue workers were down there trying to get people out of the building when the
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first building came down and then the second building did, as well. without any sound, and looking at this, there is kind of a surreal quality, but that is it the epicenter of a great, great national tragedy, and a great loss of life. no question about it this morning. >> it is hard to overstate the consequences of all of this. and there is just the beginning. we'll be living with this story and dealing with the consequences of it for some time. the united states will change as a result of all of this. we already thought that there was a lot of security in america at the airports and so on, and yet there was a successful hijacking at boston airport today and the consequences of that we're seeing on the screen here this morning. >> the building began to disintegrate and we heard it and looked up and it was like a scene out of independence day. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even mer-mutts.
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♪ we have a report here that osama bin laden, often identified as world's leading terrorist warned three weeks ago he and his followers would carry out attack. >> the editor of the london-based newspaper said islamic fundamentalists almost certainly behind the attack on the world trade center in new york. bin-laden warned would attack american interests in unprecedented attack. >> he has interviewed bin-laden and maintains close contact with his followers according to reuters. that's the first word we have that he may have been
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responsible. now word from american airlines, two aircraft in. flight 77 they're saying boeing 747 from washington dulles, that's from al henkel, one of the guys in the dallas area. >> now we know the identity of two of the flights involved in today's incidents. that leaves at least one more and if report of the crash in pittsburgh is accurate, that's one more. >> confirmed one of its aircraft crashed in area. bound for san francisco. no information on how many people were on board. collapse not just of intelligence but airport security as well. that many planes hijacked.
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>> we're going to st. vincent's hospital. obviously very concerned about the people in the world trade center when the two planes crashed into them. bob tell me about the scene. >> reporter: katie the wounded are coming in with great regularity now, almost every 30 seconds an ambulance comes up. some badly burned, some dead. seen dead bodies come in. cardinal is standing on the street giving last rites. there's a callout for blood from new york hospitals. people lining up, responding in enormous numbers, wanting to help. new york is surrealistic above lower manhattan because the subways and commuter lines and bridges and tunnels are shut down. many not injured are wandering
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around aimlessly. in the hospitals they've run out of gurneys and brought in office chairs with sheets over them to carry people in. enormous amount of work for the staff. everybody off is called in, calls out for specialists and burn specialists. will be a grueling several days ahead. >> ron, obviously you were downtown at some point because we see you have soot and debris in your hair and on the jacket. what happened? >> one of the msnbc cameramen and i were trying to get down, driving down to cover the event. not terribly far from the south tower. as we kr cutting across a quarantined zone we looked up and saw building start to come down. like a scene from "independence
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day," winds whipping around. i ducked around a corner. got into a car that was open and it was nighttime before things cleared up. >> first tower. >> i believe so. south tower. what it looks like was mild compared to the center. pitch black for blocks. >> smoke and dust? >> i assume part of the building coming down. pieces of disintegrating building coming koun. >> once it began to clear, what did you see? >> a deep gray smoke, in honesty looked like a bit of a nuclear winter like in the movies with ash all over the ground on top of cars, windows. i made my way into a building because of the light i could see and stayed there until a couple of police officers and people inside the building got into vehicle. picked up injured people and dropped off at hospital.
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>> what were the injuries? >> one police officer had problems clearly all right but in shock and schap nel in her arm and pitch black on the streets and people inhaling material and having difficulty breathing and wearing facial masks. >> we're happy you're all right. >> united airlines confirms that flight 175 from boston to los angeles is down as well. no details. it's conflicted that flight 93 from newark to san francisco is down, that's the one we think in the pittsburgh area. wish we could be more specific. information as you might expect is pretty chaotic but at least four airliners hijacked today.
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>> and going to be a lot of scrutiny on newark airport. two of the flights originated there. >> this is an event. we're happy to see you ron. >> no idea how happy i am to be here. >> it is a relief but think about the experiences of thousands of other people down there in the epicenter of all of that and there whether it occurred. hearts go out to them. don't know the numbers yet. >> hear about the cardinal delivering last rites. >> the magnitude go on for some time. not just national tragedy but security event untold magnitude. president is coming back and we are at war in effect. suffered devastating attack, cost us loss of life and in terms of our psychological security that we have in this country. going to have to revisit a lot
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of our freedoms as result of this kind of attack and then there's the whole question of retaliation. this place remains enormous target in the eyes of a lot of people and we are so vulnerable because of the things that make us so great, freedoms and sense of security that we have. but america has been changed today by all of this.
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♪ oh, another one just hit! >> a very large plane just flew directly over my building. >> the instant that second plane hit that second tower, the looks that were exchanged in that studio were chilling, and i'll never forget them. >> they were eyewitnesses to history. >> there has been a declaration of war by terrorists on the united states. >> i think the role of a journalist is to tell everyone that there is a new reality here. >> america under attack, live on the air. >> what we have just seen is about the most shocking videotape i've ever seen. >> and behind the scenes.

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